Over and over, Meese has watched members of his team accept a half-baked content brief and launch into a project — only to get halfway through before realizing they’re missing critical context. “This happens when the content brief doesn’t really force everyone to think through the project before we start on it,” he said.
Turns out he’s not alone. In a 2019 survey of 550 creative and marketing professionals, 72 percent reported that obtaining the necessary information to get started on a project is the number one offender when it comes to tasks stealing time from creative work.
To date, Meese has yet to find one content brief template that prevents these kinds of time-sucking holdups in every case. Rather, he is an advocate for adapting briefs based on both the type of project and experience levels of those involved. The goal is to develop a document that forces all involved to fully digest the project, including possible issues or unexplored opportunities, early in the process. Better yet, don’t wait for a brief to start learning about a project.
“Ten years ago, I would have raised eyebrows if I’d asked another department whether someone from creative could sit in on a strategy meeting. But I position my team as strategic partners, not ticket takers. Now, they’re sitting at more tables.” True, more meetings means less time spent creating. But Meese has found the investment well worth it. Iterations on projects have declined “materially” as a result of this exchange of expertise earlier in the process, in part, he says, because “we all get on the same page quicker.”